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Monday, February 22, 2010

The eve of AGBT 2010

I guess everyone is getting into the AGBT mood already. The list of Tweets is starting to grow @ #AGBT. I've even seen a quick blog entry from Luke Jostins on his plans for AGBT. (And, just for the record, getting eaten by crocodiles really does seem to be reserved for PI's - us bloggers are probably safe. Just as long as you're not sharing a van with the PI's from the BC Genome Science Centre... did you hear about the time they got stuck in the swamp?)

For those of you who don't know, AGBT is the once-a-year conference where all of the newest, shiniest technology for sequencing comes out. Sort of like Comdex for Sequencing geeks, I suppose. You can check out the full agenda and list of speakers at, and yes, it's worth checking out. Pretty much everyone who's into sequencing technology and analysis will be there. Well, those who got their applications in early - they cut off registration before the abstract deadline, as far as I can tell.

Unfortunately, unlike a lot of the other people who are leaving tomorrow, I've got a nearly-full day's worth of work ahead of me, as I don't leave till early Wednesday morning. While everyone else is in the air, I'll be doing some database admin, some debugging - and hopefully a bit of analysis on at least one experiment. And then, of course, I'll head home to pack. Fortunately my poster has already been sent by fedex, so I just need to pack what I'll wear, my swimsuit - and of course, my mac.

For those of you who know me, you'll know I'm not a mac person: I prefer macs to microsoft products, but really, I'm a Linux guy. Unfortunately, my linux laptop doesn't travel well - and the mac (which is usually loaned to my fiancée to keep her off of my linux boxes) goes into my backpack. In fact, I'll have to find a good twitter client for the mac before I get on the plane. Anyone have any suggestions?

Anyhow, the other thing I'll be using the mac for (aside from keeping in touch with my fiancée) is blogging. Yes, I'll try to match last year's performance of blogging all of the talks I see. I'll be looking at conference policies when I arrive, but I imagine most of the speakers won't be too upset to have me discuss their talks online. I will probably reduce my personal comments - my blog has a wider audience than it used to and I'd hate to offend anyone with an unintended insult. It's only prudent to be careful about what I say - although hey, it is my blog.

So, finally, I figured I should leave a comment on what I'm looking forward to:
  • Of course, I hope to meet up with the other next-gen bloggers - I learned a lot from them last year, and I'm sure they still have more to teach this year.
  • I'm looking forward to seeing the new technologies from the major vendors - I'm still a huge fan of Pacific Biosciences SMRT technology and I can't wait for their updates.
  • I'm very excited to hear from Complete Genomics - they were somewhat the dark horse of last year's presenters, but they've just announced a lot of great contracts. With any luck, I'll have the opportunity to discuss some bioinformatics with them.
  • I'm looking forward to all of the networking. Hopefully, by this time next year, I'll be done with my degree, which means it's nearly time to start looking for jobs/post-docs.
  • I'm looking forward to meeting the friends I made last time - and I hope to make a few more.
  • I'm looking forwards to seeing some damn cool science. Hey, last year I learned how the Burrows-Wheeler algorithm works, and I'm sure there will be more interesting posters as well.
Well, the countdown to AGBT has started. I'm definitely excited.



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